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Showing posts from April, 2010

Helicam Combines Toy Helicopter and Camera for HD Videos

Wow, what a great idea.... Makes me wonder whether I can connnect my flip video corder to the little home copters I've seen around the place... got to explore that one.
In a quest to get the perfect shot, Eric Austin, a Texas-based videographer, found a neat way to fuse a remote controlled helicopter and a Canon DSLR camera so he could shoot aerial videos easily and get the kind of footage that would otherwise be difficult to pull off."I took a hobbyshop helicopter and modified it to hold a camera, so I can get low altitude, close and tight aerial shots," Austin told amateur videographer turned pro, Austin got interested in remote-controlled photography just four months ago."As I did more photos and videos, I realized I could develop a niche where I could use the advancements in technology to provide the kind of photos most people can't get easily," he says.Austin is one of the many hobbyist photographers who are finding ways to use drones and…

A manual system for paedophile detection

As a technologist there is always a lot of pressure to find a smart automated way to solve technical problems… but sometimes the answers lie in simple manual solutions. For example:Facebook could easily make a condition of membership that the user supply a landline or cell number as a condition of the users account use.If suspicious activity is reported against an account a security officer could talk to the suspect user and ask various questions to verify  the persons identity.If the contact telephone number is not answered within a reasonable number of attempts then the account is placed on hold until the account owner is verified. This may mean that the next time the user comes online they would see a message telling them that they cannot send messages until their identity is verified by a security officer.If the account says that the user is a 16 year old boy, then the security officer can ask the user for the school they go to or the telephone number of their parents to verify th…

Project: Datekeeper Web service

Over the years I have been fascinated by the value of a countdown ticker for important goals and events. Calendars are good, but a countdown mechanism with an alarm system that escalates the event from normal to orange text to red text to red bold as the event draws closer seems a real powerful planning aid to me.I am aslo experimenting with resorting the list based on importance. For example a maintenance payment on an important patent would take precedence over a project that is 3 months overdue simply because of its priority.This kind of intelligence is what is being explored. Some of these ideas may be patentable but on the whole this project is about building an internal tool that may be useful to others so it will probably be published as public domain as it gets a bit more baked

Project: TheyRule Australia edition expanded is an interesting experiment by Josh On in social network visualization where a database of public company board members in the US can be searched to find links between companies via a network of shared directors. This was one of my first introductions to social software back in the 90’s.This latest project I have begun working on is designed to take this basic idea but expand it so that links between public business figures (firstly in Australia but eventually worldwide) can be explored. There is also an adaptation on this which i am exploring to enable communities of professionals such as the proposed AusInnovators site to be searched in a similar way. As such this project may end up merging with the AusInnovators project.

21st Century Strategy for Newspaper business

I may only be an Inventor with a hand full of media centric inventions at the fringe of the media business, but I am also close to all the major technologies available to the newspaper business and have had some first hand exposure to people at the top of the newspaper business. Hopefully this gives me the credibility to make some pretty strong assertions regarding the future of the Newspaper business. And these are:Rupert Murdoch is right “content should be paid for”. Google needs to be stopped. A media owned and operated search engine is needed. Collaborative ubiquitous micropayment is key. A system that crosses all media, every newspaper and magazine. The newspaper businesses need to stop using web pages and hypertext links (extreme?). 1. Rupert Murdoch is right “Content should be paid for.”The modern news consumer is being trained by search engines that news is a commodity… that news is paid for by the adverts in its pages and therefore the customer should get the news free. Googl…

Howard Hughes – the cost of success

After a year or so of getting things together to roll out my next few projects, there has been plenty of time to chew over what personal and corporate development strategy to use.  Having tried a few different models over the years, I find myself reviewing the strategies of many of the people in my space who have been really successful.One person I have looked at a  lot is Howard Hughes. He got an amazingly lot done in a very short time. From my perspective what can undeniably be said is that he was a top down boss. Every person who worked with him was a hired gun. Most of them were good, loyal workers but still very few if any of them had equity. Their only buy-in was a salary check.Not having to share his thinking or strategy with others allowed Howard to move very quickly and decisively. But this approach is a double-edged sword. It also meant that decisions fell heavily on Howards shoulders and that he could not share the load of decision making with others because they had no ski…

Ric’s Project Priority List

Below is a list that Ric try's to keep updated on the projects he is currently working on. This does not mean that he is not working on other projects it simply means these are the most active and arranged in the order in which he is focussed at the moment.

2SER FM – Interview on Soundtracks

This is an interview with Ric discussing the two film soundtracks he had written at the time, how the tracks were selected and the film soundtrack writing process.
Included in the interview are two of the songs he wrote called “Move It” and “Drive like hell”.

National Radio Uniloc Interview - 1992

Within a few weeks of patenting Uniloc I did this interview with Robyn Williams of the popular Science Show on Australia's National Public Radio.
The way Uniloc was used is explained as well as a lot of personal questions such as my deep hope of being able to do international business with Uniloc without leaving Australia.
It is a thorough interview asking all the obvious questions. If you are interested in the Uniloc story this is an informative 5-6 minutes of listening.


Its a bit confusing for people to hear about a guy winning a $388 million dollar law suit against Microsoft, then having it reversed by the judge, and then going to appeal. The everyday bloke probably thought it would be like having it in the bank and then having it ripped out.

But big business is not like that. Firstly it's a team of people that win court cases. For the little percentage that comes to me to actually arrive takes years if at all given that most companies in the States never pay dividends.

So where does this leave Ric.

Well, I like to see justice done. If someone wrongfully takes advantage of another person, especially illegally, then they ought to be made to pay. As the inventor of Uniloc, I like the satisfaction of getting some of the proceeds from a court win. But this does not mean that i want to change what I do every day.

I have been privileged to do a job I enjoy to make a living. And until I retire, if ever, I intend to keep doing the same thing. Karen and…

Ric’s Songs: Black Mountain Woman

This song was written by my good mate Steve Cox. He also did the lyrics on this. He’ll probably throttle me for making it public as he is now professional vocalist and guitarist. I think he did great for one of his first vocal recordings.

Steve always came out of a completely different place from me with his song writing, but looking back it was some of the best fun I ever had capturing songs on the little 4 track. This was recorded some time in the 80’s.

A link to the mp3 is here.

Ric’s Songs: Lonely in the City

This song has been recorded multiple times and ill add the earlier versions to this one if you are interested in hearing its progressive treatment.Although the song has strong feelings for me as the songwriter it still doesn’t seem to work except for the guitar solo which I’m ashamed to say is out of tune! But I’ve got the resources to do it right so ill keep trying.The song is about loneliness and how you can be as lonely in a city as you are in the desert. A bit negative but a great starting point for a guitar solo full of angst.This version was recorded in a studio that housed a great old desk owned by a good friend Buzz Bidstrup. The desk was from Air Studios in London and had a real sweet authentic sound not that you could tell from this recording… unfortunately all I have from the sessions was a quick master I did to tape so its as good as it can be for the moment.An original recording done with a mic stuck up high on a wall in as room can be heard here.

Ric’s Songs – Rock n Roll (B52’s-ish Zep Cover)

This was recorded around the time that the B-52s “Love Shack” was popular. Steve and I had just listened to it and started to get back into our Led Zep music when the idea came up what if the B-52’s did Zep?Making a hamer-ing 4/4 pounder lilt into a swing shuffle sounds like a no-no but it still comes across as a fun idea.Steve on programmed drums and background party noise. This was really fun to record on 4 track.

Ric’s Songs – Freedom (Hendrix Cover)

This cover of a Hendrix song came about due to hearing Hendrix’s original as I was messing with a grungy sampling keyboard bass sound. It just shouted for a heavier remake.
Its only a 4 track and with me singing (and a bit out of key often) its a wonder that it still sounds interesting. But I’ve always liked the direction of this arrangement/ approach.
Steve Cox programmed the drums and generally acted as a taste director!

Click to listen

Maybe it’s worth a remake?

Song No 13: How I feel

Sorry but it takes a few seconds to start as I don’t have any handy editing software at the moment.This song was written back in the eighty’s  using a drop G tuning and was one of my first attempts at writing a “lovey dovey” song. This song only had the first verse and chorus written at the time but it coincided with the putting together of a bunch of pretty good players to make it more special.Sven Knudsen is singing the vocals. He had been doing Led Zeppish work in Europe before this and his strong  character of vocals matched with Steve Cox’s lyrical drumming and a good mate of his on bass, made it turn into something more special than I had imagined.
Since this I have completed the lyrics (it only took 20 years!) and am know waiting for the right band members to be available to record it properly.Here are the lyrics as they stand at the moment:Verse 1
How I feel, I don’t know, If you love me
And I cant, No I cant, Let it go
All the dam-,-age it does, Cuts so deeply…

Solar driven circumnavigation catamaran

When I first saw this photo I thought I was looking at a mock-up of the proposed craft but no… look closely on the forward quarter of the deck and you will see two people standing there. Amazingly this thing is built and already near sea trials. It uses an interesting boat-on-dual-hulls type design. I wonder how the design will go travelling around Cape Horn? RLink to story…..
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